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Evolution of an Alpine over-deepened valley (Upper Enns Valley, Austria) within the context of geomorphic and tectonic expressions

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In the study area, the Eastern Alps have been under surface uplift since Early Miocene times. Furthermore, Quaternary processes as uplift and cyclic glaciations likely interfere with neotectonic activity as the Upper Enns Valley is bounded to the Salzach-Enns strike-slip fault. The interplay between differential uplift and denudation and glacial carving results in a present-day diversity of morphology. An asymmetric drainage pattern with short northern tributaries to the Upper Enns Valley and long southern ones suggests N-ward tilting of the entire region. Provenance analysis of the Upper Pleistocene Ramsau Conglomerate on the northern valley slope indicates primarily a derivation from the basement terrain of the Niedere Tauern located to the south of the Enns Valley. The transport from the southern side of the valley and the presence of a terrace at 1,100 m allows the assumption that the Upper Enns Valley was filled up to that elevation during Late Pleistocene times. The suggested continuity of the southern planation surfaces and the top of the Ramsau Conglomerate (ca. 1,100 m a.s.l.) is interpreted to represent a relic former valley bottom. An intercalated coal seam in the conglomerate dated back to 53.3 kyr. by C method (uncalibrated) is a crucial element to reconstruct the evolution of the valley. Geomorphological and sedimentological investigations coupled with a fluvial landscape along a major strike-slip fault allowed developing the morphogenetic history of the Upper Enns Valley (Austria).

German
Die Ostalpen im Studiengebiet befinden sich in Hebung seit dem Frühen Miozän. Quartäre Prozesse – zyklische Vergletscherung – überlagern die neotektonische Aktivität entlang der Salzach-Enns Störung. Differenzierte Hebung und Abtragung sowie glaziale Übertiefung resultieren in einer gegenwärtigen morphologischen Mannigfaltigkeit. Das asymmetrische Entwässerungssystem mit kurzen Nebenflüssen aus dem Norden und vergleichsweise langen aus dem Süden lässt auf eine Nordverkippung der Region schließen. Provenance Analysen des Jung Pleistozänen Ramsau Konglomerates weisen auf einen Transport vom Sockel der Niederen Tauern südlich des Ennstales hin. Herkunftsanalysen und eine Terrasse in 1.100 m lassen den Schluss zu, dass das Tal bis zu dieser Höhe im Jung Pleistozän gefüllt war. Verebnungen an der südlichen Talflanke in Zusammenhang mit der Obergrenze des Ramsau Konglomerates werden als ehemaliger Talboden in ca. 1.100 m Seehöhe interpretiert. Die im Konglomerat eingebettete kohlige Schicht, datiert mit 53.3 ka (unkalibriert) ist für die Rekonstruktion des Tales von Bedeutung. Geomorphologische und sedimentologische Beobachtungen verbunden mit einer Flusslandschaft entlang einer bedeutenden Störungszone erlauben die morphogenetische Entwicklung des Oberen Ennstales (Österreich) nachzuvollziehen.
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Keywords: GLACIATION; NEOTECTONICS; SURFACE UPLIFT; VALLEY GEOMETRY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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  • Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie main volume is a peer-reviewed international journal presenting original contributions of high scientific standard from all fields of geomorphology, encompassing basic research and applied studies. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie (ZfG) invites the submission of original papers from the entire field of geomorphological research, both applied and theoretical. Authors are encouraged to submit their papers to the editor-in-chief. Please peruse the instructions to authors (PDF) before submitting your paper.

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